When Gary Cormier of Halliburton Energy Services emailed me his emphasis was
on the subject of "catching." Gary was planning a customer fishing trip on
Oct. 13 & 14. After a late afternoon trip on Friday we agreed to leave from
the Baroid Camp facility located off the ICW. On Saturday, I slowly powered
the boat up to the camp and loaded the "Production" crew on board. Before
heading south I stated "weâ¤re going on a very long boat ride, so zip up your
jackets guys." I pushed the "throttle" forward and headed towards San Antonio
Bay in the morning darkness.
We stopped along the way at Charlieâ¤s Bait Camp and loaded up with five
quarts of live shrimp. After making a quick turn at the "turn stake" we began
to smell trout. While passing up several good reefs, Gary asked "what are you
looking for?" I slowly turned the boat back towards the reef we immediately
passed. I stated "Iâ¤m looking for bait!"
While I was throwing the drift sock out, the "Production" crew was baiting up
and getting ready. On the first drift, Gary picked up a slot red while
fishing from the back of the Majek. With a little time and a couple of slow
adjustments, we managed to locate some decent trout. This was only the
beginning of what was to be a CALF SCRAMBLE for the rest of the day. My wife
Deb had prearranged lunch at the Dockside Bait Camp located in Seadrift.
After catching a full box of trout and running all over the boat with the
net, we all agreed the lunch break was needed. The afternoon bite proved to
be the best time for catching HOGS!
On our first drift after lunch we landed two trout over 20-inches. It was
Gary B. and Matt P. fighting on the bow of my Majek. Once we quit catching
good size trout, it was better to hit another area in the bay rather then
keep drifting the same reef. This method paid off on several occasions. We
all witnessed Matt P. catch one trout after another for several drifts. Matt
could not keep the trout off his line. We finished up the day with a
three-man limit of fish, but if Gary was including the "catching" we probably
caught nearly 80-fish for the day.
I would like to take this opportunity and say THANKS to Gary Cormier for
arranging this trip and giving Bay Flats Waterfowl and Fishing Guide Service
Bay Flats "Team" Captains: Capt. TJ Christensen, Capt. John Robson, Capt.
Sean McGowan, Capt. James Davant, Capt. Tom Peden, and Capt. Everett Johnson.
Captain Chris Martin
"FALL" OUT OVER TOP WATER FISHING
Out of all months to choose for flats fishing, October is my favorite time of
the year. I will be using a variety of top water lures during this month
while drifting the back lakes. No matter if youâ¤re a beginner lure fisherman
or top water expert, using a "bone" ghost is one of the easiest top water
plugs to master. Try starting off walking the dog with a steady retrieve.
Normally, a trout will strike one or two times before hooking up. If this
happens, slow down the top water before you begin a steady retrieve.
Sometimes trout will hit right as you slow down the lure. Furthermore, Iâ¤ve
seen trout "hammer" top water lures as the lureâ¤s slowly twitched after each
pause. Each day will be different, and adjusting to what the fish wants is
where you build your confidence.
If itâ¤s "bronze back" red fish youâ¤re after you will only need to make a
slight adjustment in your retrieve. I will slow down the lure and make short
pauses while walking the dog. The key to landing a BLOW UP, is slightly
pausing before setting into the fish. Itâ¤s not uncommon to have reds miss the
lure. That is why itâ¤s important to pause before laying into the rod. If you
twitch the plug right after a missed strike, the red may come back for a
second try. My favorite colors are HALLOWEEN, BONE, and CHARTURESE.
I personally like to rig a pink or red "Short skirt" on the back hook of
each of top water. Most of these skirts come too long from the stores, and
itâ¤s easy to trim them down short enough to stay out of the hook. Each skirt
comes with a small split ring and it helps to have a good set of split ring
pliers when working around sharp hooks.
It looks like the size of top water lures is constantly changing. When using
a smaller plug like the new Top Dog Pup you will notice it works much easier
in calmer water but harder to control in chop or grassy conditions. These
smaller plugs are very effective in attracting fish when the bite is slow. I
always here, larger lures attract bigger fish.
I personally have caught my largest trout and reds while using medium to
small size top water lures. I believe confidence is the key when choosing
size or color. It has more to do with what you feel comfortable with.
I believe the old saying "KISS" (keep it simple stupid), when it comes to
rigging top water lures. I have never used a leader or swivel when using top
water lure. What works for me, may not work for you? But, I have never lost a
trophy size trout or red due to a break off. I use a simple "loop" knot and
find it very effective. The loop knot allows the lure to walk much easier
than most knots and when associated with good 12-pound test line, it has
never let me down. Also, everywhere I fish in the back lakes, is plagued with
some floating grass. This grass will get hung up on any swivel or leader
material much easier, than a simple "loop" knot.
With the fall weather patterns approaching and the air temperatures dropping,
you will find October a great month to experience back lake top water
fishing. If you would like to get on my "Weekly Fishing Report" email list,
please contact me at
Chris@bayflatswaterfowl.com, and I will provide a "weekly" fishing report for
BAY FLAT "TEAM OF GUIDES:
Capt. TJ Christensen, Capt. "Cinco" Devant, Capt. John Robson, Capt. Everett
Johnson, Capt. Tom Peden, Capt. Sean McGowan
BACKCOUNTRY "GOLD & SILVER" RUSH WITH ARTIFICIAL LURES
Fishing over this past Labor Day weekend was excellent for reds while using top water plugs and gold spoons. This past Saturday Capt. John Robson and myself had parties using lures. Capt. John was fortunate to have Mr. Ronnie Calsten and his son down for two days. I was pleased to be fishing with Mr. Robert Kessler and his best friend Mark from Atlanta, GA. Sunday; Capt. TJ had returning customer Mr. Clay Bryant and his fiancee fishing the back lakes with gold spoons and top waters.
Saturday, I started my trip running the ICW down to POC and wade fishing west Matagorda shoreline. With the wind pumping out of the West we had protected water to wade while working top water and plastics. Overall, the bite was slow and off pace from past weeks. We caught several nice trout while loosing some others. I made the run back into Espiritu Santo Bay and hit a protected shoreline. I dropped my two fisherman off and explained where to wade. I asked them to take a gold spoon and top water (bone). After I parked the boat 300 yards up wind I eased over the side and did the same. The bottom was very tough to wade and the price would come high, but it was worth it after we met at the boat. Mark caught six slot reds and released three while using a gold spoon. His largest red hit the 25-inch line. Ronnie had several reds blow up at his top water and he finally caught his first slot red. I myself, was finding the bite to be really slow and noticed bait near the bank. I was lucky enough to trick a 27-inch red with my new bone Top Dog (puppy). After catching another keeper red with a gold spoon I decided the price was getting too high in mud.
We decided to work the backcountry while drifting for "gold and silver." After we caught our "allowed" three reds apiece we began to catch and release for another hour. Meanwhile, Capt. John was getting Mr. Ronnie Calston and son hooked-up on reds in the same area. They returned with there allowed three reds and out of two boats we also had eight "silver" fish.
Sunday, Capt. John and Capt. TJ went back to the same area to fish with top water lures and gold spoons. Both boats returned with each person allowed three slot reds and again a small price was paid for doing so. This price is called "hard work" and staying in one place for an entire day. These two guys ended up with 18 (slot) reds between both boats. That is what I call "Keep Grinding."
TIP OF THE DAY FROM BAY FLATS CAPTAINS: Set youâ¤re drift up while concentrating over grass but focusing on sand pockets. The best bite is from noon till 4:00 pm. While making each drift be quiet and idle out very slow. Best color top waters: Bone, wood pecker/chartreuse, wood pecker/white, speckled trout/green, and silver/chartreuse. Try using the new Top Dog (puppy) it works well in a slight chop. When using a gold spoon try using a good "loop knot". This will allow the spoon to work better. I use the same loop knot for top water plugs.
Bay Flats "Team" Captains: Capt. TJ Christensen, Capt. John Robson, Capt. Everett Johnson, Capt. Sean McGowan, and Capt. Tom Peden.
We also welcome our newest staff member Mr. Rod Powers. He will be assisting in our waterfowl hunts and meals.
This weeks brings the following parties to fish artificial lures in the back country. Mr. Frank Ragusa party, Mr. Dwayne Molina party, Mr. Brandon Johnson
Party (2) boats, and Mr. GL Hooker party.